Japanese man sets himself on fire during apparent protest at Abe . state funeral

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A man set himself on fire on a street near the Japanese prime minister’s office in Tokyo on Wednesday, apparently planning to kill himself in protest at an upcoming state funeral for former prime minister Shinzo Abe, police said.

Police found a note at the scene that read: “Personally, I strongly oppose” the state funeral next Tuesday for Abe, who was killed by a gunman in July. The man, who was taken to hospital, was conscious, police said, adding that he told them he was in his 70s.

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They quoted him as saying that he poured himself in oil and set himself on fire.

Police and fire officers investigate the scene in Tokyo’s Kasumigaseki district on September 21, 2022, after a man attempted to commit suicide by setting himself on fire. (TBEN)

Police received an emergency call at around 6:50 a.m. that someone had set themselves on fire in Tokyo’s Kasumigaseki neighborhood, where most of the country’s ministries and the Diet Building are located.

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The incident happened as police strengthened security ahead of Tuesday’s state funeral for Abe, who was fatally shot during a July 8 campaign stump speech.

Recent polls have shown that a majority of people in Japan are against a state funeral for Abe, as dubious relations between Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers and the Unification Church, founded in South Korea in 1954 and labeled a cult by critics, under scrutiny after his death.

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The suspect in the shooting said the church had financially ruined his mother and that he believed Abe had supported the church.

No damage to nearby buildings was reported after the incident.


Related Coverage:

State funeral for Abe ‘appropriate’ given achievements: Japanese Prime Minister Kishida


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